The Panty Game now has a poem

Here's some panties
with eyes of blue.
Straight from heaven
right to booty.

Yeah, the girls came up with that. No idea.

Oh, scratch that. On their Dumbo book on CD the stork brings the elephant and reads the poem:
Here's a baby with eyes of blue
Sent from heaven, straight to you.

Yet another shameless attempt

Dixie: I need to calm down. I am very whiny and upset and think a little TV would calm me down.
Mommy: Or you can go sit on my bed until you are calm.
Dixie: I don't think that would work at all. I think I need TV.




I know that the reason I feel this way has to do with the unpleasant combination of cedar, high winds and wildfires nearby, but I am not entirely convinced that someone did not take a cheese grater to my throat in my sleep last night. However, the entire gallon of white paint that the aforementioned wind blew over onto my previously unfinished-wood porch does give credence to the first explanation.

Charlie, were he capable of expressing himself, would likely add to this post in an attempt to serve an eviction notice to whatever funk is inhabiting his overflowing sinuses and throbbing right ear.

However Charlie is proving himself to be the easy child we always knew him to be by taking his amoxycillin like a man. The first time Melody needed it she was 22 months old and fell victim to strep. By the end of those ten days she would not consume anything that she had not directly watched us prepare.

Good night. Don't you DARE wake me up in the morning, ya'hear?

Nice Try

Melody, very first thing this morning: Mommy, can you turn on Charlie and Lola? Charlie wants to see it very badly. He likes to sit up on the couch like a gentlemen and watch it. He likes to be a gentleboy.


The obsession with marriage has gone too far.

They are marrying off their DinoNuggets before eating them.


Silly is a liquid

As a self-proclaimed DAM (Drive Around Mom) I have a lot of conversations in the rear-view mirror with my kids that involve them asking me questions and then not really paying attention to what I answer, only that I answer.

If no one else cares what I say, I might as well amuse myself, right?

Mommy? What shape is my ball?
What shape is this book?
-It's a quadrilateral.
What shape is my carseat?
It's an irregular polygon.

I can't remember exactly what Melody was asking for, but I told her that she couldn't play with it in her carseat because it is a liquid.

What's a liquid?
-Something that can be poured and needs a container to keep from spilling.
-Matter comes in three forms, solid, liquid and vapor. (I say vapor, because she associates gas with gasoline, which is a liquid.) Vapors are things you can inhale, solids are things you can pick up or hit and they don't change shape. And liquids need a container to prevent them from spilling.
-Except for glass. It is technically a liquid.
Mommy, what is my dolly?
-A solid
Mommy? What is my sippy cup?
-The cup is a solid, the juice is a liquid. See? It has to be in the cup, or it spills.
What is my sister?
-Some of each. Her bones are solid, her blood is liquid, her lungs are filled with vapor.
What is PennyVann?
-Mostly solid.
What about silly?
-Oh, silly is a liquid. It pours out of your mouth and is very hard to contain.


Tonight, Our Fortune Cookies Said:

Charlie: You will be called upon to help a friend in trouble.
(And you will go up to that person, clap for them, then lean over and bite them, much as you bit Mommy on the ass last week while she was trying to stretch out her back.)

Dixie: Appreciate the caring people who surround you.
(And not just Daddy. We get that you love daddy. But please note that putting pinkeye medicine in your eye does not make me a mean person. I really was not enjoying your suffering. Ditto for strapping you into your car seat, not letting you stand on the kitchen table to build with blocks and requiring that you eat a vegetable every now and then.)

Dowlan: Treat others as you would treat yourself.
(This is not meant to be taken literally. Charlie, for example, does not need Mountain Dew. Remember Dixie's second cookie? Yeah.)

Melody: You will be extremely successful in business.
(After growing up with Dixie, I have not a doubt in the world that you will be very skilled at taking charge, negotiating for toys and convincing the people around you that the blame lies elsewhere. For instance, when I asked you where you got the soaking wet Mr. Clean Magic Eraser that you were washing the coffee table with today, and you immediately looked very sad and replied, "I didn't want to do it. Dixie found it. Dixie got it wet. Dixie handed it to me. She told me to clean it with this sponge"--well, let us just say that Kenneth Lay of Enron infamy would have gotten away with it had he had your approach.)

Mine: You will always be surrounded by those who love you.
(Yes! This morning, when I woke up with a pinched nerve and Melody kept tickling me to 'make me smile' as Dixie kept piling blanket after blanket on me, applying firm and random pressure as she smoothed them out, causing even more fun stabbing pains, yeah, I was surrounded. As Charlie kept whacking me with his hand to say 'there, there' and biting me (you guessed it) on the ass and Dowlan kept puttering around the house, ignoring the throng of children surrounding me and occasionally popping in and saying, "Oh, honey, does it still hurt that badly? Can I get you anything?" there was no doubt that I am loved. It was quite prominent when I went to Home Depot for moulding and Dixie couldn't go four minutes without calling my cell phone to remind me that she 'loves me' and that she 'wants me to come home soon.' I am well aware of being surrounded. Could it perhaps be taken less literally?)

It is my Mommyversary!

At 1:51 this morning, Dowlan and I were doing exactly the same thing we were doing at 1:51 a.m. four years ago--holding our tiny little girl in our arms and marveling at her, touching her sweet face and asking ourselves, 'is she really, really ours?'

Her face looks exactly the same as it did in the first 3-D sonogram. Her tiny fists were over her eyes, but the same nose and lips and chin grace that same sweet face. She is still tiny, her skin is still so fair that it is transparent. Her lips are still deep pink, still chapped, and still move in her sleep. She still sleeps with her eyes cracked open and she still has funny toes.

She still snuggles in when she sleeps.

The crackdown has begun

My children are like cattle--all they want to do all day is graze. I feel like a food dispenser sometimes, as hardly a moment goes by where someone isn't either eating, requesting food or complaining about the fact that they aren't currently eating.

And then I cook them an actual meal and who eats it? Me.

So the crackdown begins. Only water and plain milk are allowed at meals, and between meals each child is allowed one banana, apple, cheese stick or yogurt. One, not one of each. One cup of half juice/half water between each meal. And two small or one large sugar treat per day.

You'd think I'm trying to kill them.

We've been operating fairly well on this new set of rules all week. I explained them all in great detail to Dowlan last night.

So what do I find this morning? All three of my children wandering around, eating cookies before breakfast. Dixie looks at me and says, "Daddy gave me this cookie after I finished my first one. Daddy doesn't know about sugar."


Dixie's poor negotiation skills

I often have the girls pick up 10 things before they come to the dinner table, or put away toy X before they get toy Y out. It helps keep the house clean and teaches them some responsibility (I hope).

So today Dixie wanted to watch Jojo's Circus.

Dixie: Mommy, start Jojo!
Mommy: Hm. Was that whining I heard?
D: Mommy, would you please start Jojo's Circus for me.
M: I will after you pick up 15 things.
D: No! That's too many. How about I do five?
M: 15.
D: 10?
M: 15.
D: How about I do eighteen things?
M: Perfect!
D: 17?
M: No, you said 18.

Dixie picks up the first five things.

D: Mommy, I did five! Start Jojo!
M: Hm. I seem to remember saying 18.
D: How 'bout I just did five, then i do five more, and five more and five more?
M: It's a deal.


Today I played 38 games of Break the Ice.

You may be thinking, "Gretchen, it's Don't Break The Ice."

Not the way we play it.

Dixie's attempt at an ultimatum:

Daddy, you can not go to work. If you do, I will be all confused. And I will call Mommy Daddy. And then you will get home and I won't know what to call you and I will have to call you Mommy and then no one will know who I am talking to.

And the game du jour? Putting on panties.
Each girl put on something eight pairs of panties, then came out into the living room to get dressed for the day. "I guess I'll just take off my panties. Oops! I still have more panties on. Let me take those off. Wait! There's MORE panties."

Then Dixie put a skirt on over all her panties. She was very oddly shaped.


Daddy says:

Dixie, poop is not for showing off.


Charlie has aim

The men took a shower together this morning.

Sounds kinky, no?

At the end of the shower, Dowlan was standing next to the sink, toweling off, and Charlie was still pattering his little feet around, splashing in the water on the shower floor and watching the shower head drip little droplets of water into the drain.

Charlie grunted and pointed at the water, then pointed at the drain. I said something along the lines of, "That's right, Charlie! the water goes down the drain."

So Charlie squats over the drain, bends his head down to see where he's pointing, stands up and scoots back and squats again. Two or three times.

I think it is coming, I know it is coming, but when he actually pees down the drain the look of surprise and delight on his face almost knocks me over.

Maybe I need a drain at the bottom of the potty seat?


Happy Pseudo-Birthday to Melody

Last year, when Melody turned three, she became very upset and wanted to know 'where my two went.'

Well, her fourth birthday party was today and I would love to know where her three went. Because I can't believe it is gone.

Also, I would like my baby back.


Play Doh makes the world go 'round

I have had thirty minutes completely to myself. Charlie is asleep, and the girls are playing with 6 new mini-tubs of Play Doh.

Ahhhh . . . sweet bliss. Until I realize that Melody added Play Doh 'pepperoni' to the pizza slice that was supposed to be her snack.


RE: comments from the last few days:
-I did actually graduate from college, i just switched from a double major in government and American studies with a minor in German to a major in elementary education with a specialization in music.
-Most days at the church are not like that. We were up three kids and down one grown-up from our usual bunch. And it was the first time to ever be alone in the building. Also, on Tuesdays I get to be the selfish one sitting and enjoying the class while others watch my kids. So I generally don't mind Wednesdays, not to mention that the $30 I make helps out around here and working saves me the $12 I would have spent on lunch that day. But yesterday was not worth all the money in the world.
-Kelcy, you are clearly a freak. (Bless your heart.)


This post may be long, but this morning was longer.

During a class today, I find myself in the church building with a 19 year old to help me watch ten kids. Three are babies and two of the babies are screaming. One screams the entire time, no matter what we do. The other is just little and gets overwhelmed by all the other kids. Because all of the classes are in the portables now and no one was in the office today, we were the only people in the building. That by itself is a little creepy. but then we go out to the playground with everybody and realized that the building we left is completely locked. All 8 doors.

I discover this when Charlie is poopy after I carry him on one side and screamer boy on the other and try to go in and change him. So I go to my van to change him, as it is unlocked and contains diapers. I sit Screamer in Charlie's infant and lay Charlie on the floor of the van to change him. This is a foul diaper, as Charlie got into something he is allergic to night before last. Right as I get the diaper off Charlie, he starts playing with the poo on his balls. I am cleaning it up when Screamer wriggles out of the carseat and lands on the diaper. Nice.

It takes almost the entire 40 pack of Huggies wipes (thank you, bargain board!) before they are clean. At this point I have only checked two doors and these kids are WAY too squirmy to carry around the church, to check the rest. I open the back of the van to discover that I only have the single stroller. Fine. Put Charlie in it and carry Dylan.

All doors are locked.

I hit the portables. I check 12 rooms before I find someone and it is the ladies' class. I ask if anyone has a key, we get let in,

So we go in, and feed all the kids. The other cry-er is doing pretty well. Her mom comes to check in on her and decides that she is doing well enough for her to go to lunch with the other mommies. Cool.

Except that after she leaves, we realize that she left a lunch for Cryer’s big sis, but NOTHING for Cryer. So we are feeding her some Cheerios, but this kid is 9 months old and we don’t know what she can eat. Because of Charlie’s food allergies, I am really reluctant to feed a kid anything, you know?

The poor kid is sooo hungry. So I start looking for the emergency forms the parents fill out. Can’t find them. Call the coordinator who is home sick. Find the pages. Start calling Cryer’s mommy, but she has no cell phone. The daddy's cell phone goes straight to voice mail. Call the other mommies at lunch--one is actually running errands, the other doesn’t answer the phone any of the nine times I called and those are the only two numbers I can find. So I call Cryer’s emergency contact.

Now I have known Hannah’s family for ten years. Great people. Great parents. Mommy is usually very responsible and I can understand forgetting a bag. No biggie. I look at the emergency contact and it is also someone I have known forever. I call him, but he has no additional phone numbers for her. I consider calling Dowlan at work to google the number of Mommy’s sister in law, who is also a good friend, but at this time the 19 year old who helps me has taken Cryer into another room and calmed her to sleep.

Also, at lunchtime, two kids had departed. So I only have seven kids to myself. Which is fine, until one needs to potty.

I failed to mention that, prior to this, I have let in the guy who came to paint the walls as well as the guy who came to service the first aid kit in the kitchen. When the first aid kit guy needed to leave, he needed a signature. Again, NO ONE is in the office. So I sign. Why not?

The guy who came to paint the walls is, well, painting the walls. So I cant just send Dixie by herself to potty or a nightmare will occur. And the two kids who are potty training and want to go every time someone else goes are at the door, chomping at the bit. So I leave four kids in the nursery with the doors shut and go down the hall to take three kids potty. The two girls go in and go. The boy decides that he doesn’t really want to go. I take him back.

I should note that the painter is between the kids and me and this makes me feel both safer and less safe. After all, I really don’t know this guy. But I feel like if someone started bleeding enough for the blood to start seeping under the door he would at least notice and holler at me.

So the pottying successfully draws to a close and we go back into the room. No one is bleeding and they are all breathing.

So I get the kids on the little foam play mats. We alternate between standing up and dancing and them sitting on their squares while I engage them with my fantabulous story telling skills. The parents arrive, amazed at how engaged they are and how I have all their rapt attention. All is well...

Is this really worth $30?

Oma, Dance Dance Revolution, and My Whole Wicked Life

We are sitting at a stop light in PennyVann when Dixie announces, "Mommy, I wish you were more like Oma."

I star thinking of all my mother's endearing traits. She is fun and patient with the kids, has beautiful long hair and is an incredible pianist. Thinking of all the qualities she has that I lack, I ask, "What do you mean? How do you want me to be more like Oma?"

"Oma doesn't stop at red lights, she just goes, goes, goes!"


So I have embarked upon a new fitness endeavor. Melody went through a phase where she loved the digital scale and told me each morning, "Mommy, I need to check my numbers."

She would stomp around on it, watch the little zeros dance back and forth and then stand on it, look at the number and announce indignantly, "I am NOT two one. I am Two And A Half."

Charlie has recently discovered the scale and treats it like Dance Dance Revolution. He stands at the back of it and stomps on it, watching the numbers flicker. He takes turns stomping his little baby boy feet on each side of it. Back and forth, chasing the numbers with his little jammied feet.


I keep meaning to include some household vernacular.

To Meat Mop the Round and Round is to clean the microwave. A swamich is something placed between two slices of bread and can be a Peanut Swamich, Jelly Swamich, Flat Weenie Swamich or a Butter Swamich. (Those last two refer to bologna and cream cheese.) You might frequently hear that I have Never done THAT in my Whole Wicked Life. Anyone who provides assistance of any form is a Helper Monkey and if that person then finds a yellow tube-shaped fruit to consume, they are a BananaMonkey.

Tinas are the neighborhood girls who speak only spanish and when you say goodbye to them the only proper salutation is 'Noches.' The name of our town specifically refers only to our home while Oma lives in a house named Abilene and Grandma Jane's house is The Other Abilene. (We were once on a trip from our town to Abilene and Dixie was arguing with me that we should go to Grandma's house first because it doesn't take very long to get there while Oma's House takes a LONG time to get there. I tried to explain to her that the only reason it didn't take long to get to Grandma's house is that we leave from Oma's house to get there. We still have to get to Abilene before either is close. While I enjoyed her logic, I couldn't convince her that it wasn't going to work.)

The PennyVann contains a Boofer Scooper (infant car seat) that is used to containt the poor young lad who is referred to as any of the following terms: Mr. Charlie Pants, Pants, The Pants Mister, Charlie Pants O'Mister, Boof, Little Boof, Boofer, Boofers, and, occasionally, Charlie.

Cheese comes in the following forms: flat, square, block, meltin' and pullin'. Yogurt comes in drinkin', breakin' and spoonin'. Peas are crunchy or squishy.

So if you ever find yourself confused around here, know that you aren't alone.


I am re-naming it Gym of Death

I am sure my kids are saying something cute today. And doing something uttewy pwecious.

I just have no idea what it is.

This morning, I made the discovery that being in the pool during water aerobics is the worst possible place to discover that you are the next lucky family member to be stricken with 'squishy poop.'

So I hung out in the locker room to avoid picking up my children until they'd been in the gym child care for 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 48 seconds of the alloted 2 hours, then came home, dropped Charlie in his crib, stuck the girls in front of the TV (fortunately, no glue gun was required), and began calling people until one of them came to take them all away.

I vaguely remember peering out of my pile of blankets to tell Melody to put pants on and to tell Dixie not to eat something she found in the couch, then re-buried myself, clung to the heating pad and resumed shivering.

I am assuming that, at some point, whoever took my children will return them. If not, I assume that my husband will, at some point, go looking for them.

If you are reading this and have my children--Dowlan will be home at 6:30.


The gym is trying to kill me

I tried a new workout class yesterday. Here is a list of the parts of my body that hurt, in no particular order:

my left knee
my lower back
the arch of my right foot
my right index finger
all of my left toes
my left ring finger
my left hip
both shoulders
my left wrist
my tail bone
my upper inner thighs
my left forearm
all the side muscles along my ribcage
the palm of both hands
my upper back on the right side by the shoulder blade
the left side of my neck

and that is when I am not moving. The list exponentially increases when I attempt to move.


I am an embarrassment to my children.

Dixie walked in today on me while I was *gasp* bleaching my mustache. Later, in the car, she and Melody had this chat. For the record, Cowboy is a kid Dixie used to go to church with when she lived with her Grandma, but he has become more like an imaginary friend. Also, we were on our way to meet Dowlan and his friends for dinner. Chris and Richard do NOT need to know about Mommy's mustache.

Dixie: I saw Mommy doing something that was So Funny today.
Melody: What?
D: I went in the bathroom and she had a white mustache.
M: No! That is funny! Why would Mommy have a mustache?
D: Maybe I'll ask Daddy when we get to the place we're going.
Mommy: No. You do not need to talk about Mommy's mustache at dinner.
D: Ooh! We have a secret. A seeeeeeeecret!
M: A secret, a secret!
D: Who can we tell?
M: We could tell your Cowboy.
D: No, i would be way too embarrassed to tell my Cowboy that my Mommy has a mustache. He would look at me funny and laugh and I would be all embarrassed.

I fully expected my children to be ashamed of me someday, just not as preschoolers.

One more for the road...

Last questions, if you're still answering: What's one trip you would like to take with just Dowlan? (By the way, I don't know if Bryan or I know how to talk about anything not related to the spawn. And you're right, rebuilt transmissions and how to pay for an air conditioner do not count). What's one of the first places you would like to take the kiddos when they are all old enough to remember?

While the two vacations I have been on my life were lovely, I would like to have a few more. I have been all over the place to see family--Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Oregon--but except for a family trip to Washington, D.C. when I was 14 and our honeymoon in Hot Springs, I haven't been anywhere. Oh, and I have been to Mexico border towns and colonias doing mission trips, but anywhere you go to do manual labor and contract parasites doesn't really count.

So my answer is anywhere. I would love to go anywhere.

We're about to have our fifth anniversary and are trying to get away for a weekend to a bed and breakfast in the Hill Country. It will be the first time in my life I have booked a fancy place to stay.

As far as the kids are concerned--the D.C. trip was amazing and I would like to take them there when they are big enough to really appreciate it.

I want to take them to cool places like Enchanted Rock and Big Bend to do camping, hiking, spelunking and all that cool stuff. Right now we're really into the San Antonio Zoo, which is only 90 miles away. It is a perfect day trip and my kids love it.

I have absolutely no desire to go to DisneyWorld. I just don't see the attraction.

More Answers

Blogger Sara said...

What do you want to be when your kids grow up? Like when they are all in school, got any plans?

PS- this was more fun when you had drinkz. ;)

January 9, 2008 9:46 PM

I was an elementary music teacher for four years before I entered SAHM-hood.It was the coolest, most fun job in the world and I want to go back to that. I can't imagine being that fun, exciting, cool and putting on that many programs a year for thirty years or anything, but I'll burn that bridge when I come to it. I would do nine music programs a year. I would paint backdrops, make costumes, sometimes I'd write the libretto for it--great fun.

Anonymous Cindy said...

Hey, I am late getting home from work and "ask me anything!" is probably over by now. No fair.
Leah asked our question about Dixie coming to live with you so I have another. What did you do before children for work, and how did you meet and fall in love with Dowlan? Two questions. Sorry.

January 10, 2008 6:08 PM

I met Dowlan at our church when I moved to Austin to go to college at UT. He had just finished his second bachelor's degree at the Institute for Christian Studies and was still hanging around with college kids, despite his advanced age. (He is ten years older than me.) I knew him for about three years before our first date, and it is a good thing I didn't dawdle any longer, because my college roommate Kelcy had already offered to have his children. Who knew what other women were waiting to ensnare him?

Dowlan is FABULOUS with kids. He was once described to someone by our campus minister as, "You know, Dowlan. The tall guy who is always wearing all the kids after church and making them airplanes with the bulletins." That description worked perfectly, because the person then instantly knew who Brian was talking about.

So Kelcy, who barely knew him, was making polite, general conversation with him one day and said, "You know, you should have a lot of kids someday." What Dowlan heard was, "You know, WE should have a lot of kids someday."

Although Kelcy is a beautiful girl and incredibly hot, Dowlan backed away slowly, stammering something about, "But I don't really know you."

Oddly enough, how he got his wife was not all that different from that conversation.

Before Dowlan, I was in a three year relationship with a wonderful, intelligent, incredibly funny man. Unfortunately, we were incredibly toxic for one another. After the breakup, I began examining my life in a lot of ways. One area was dating.

See, I was 20 and realized, as I saw all my friends a few years older marching down the aisle, that it was time to be a little more discerning when it came to men because I was getting to be of the age where who I dated actually mattered and could impact the rest of my life. I realized that you could easily fall in love with just about anyone once you were dating him, so my new standard needed to be that I was only going to date men who were good enough to spend my life with.

So I made a list of characteristics and standards. As I went through them, I found myself saying things like, "I want to marry a man who is generous and giving and will go out of his way to help other people. Someone who will stop on the side of the road to aid people who are stranded and who will give his time to helping and working at our church. Like Dowlan, only not so old and dorky."

"And I want to marry someone who is good with kids. The kind that will be a devoted husband, devoted father, and really hands-on with his kid. Not afraid to play with the baby or change a diaper, not just wanting to come home and watch TV and leave me to the kids at the end of a day, or asking where his dinner is and why it wasn't on the table at 5:00. Someone who will be really devoted to kids and active in their lives. Like Dowlan would be, only not so old and dorky."

Same thing with independent, intelligent, God-seeking, -loving, and -fearing. And then I got to thinking, "Why not Dowlan?" Yes, he is ten years older than me, but he is a good man.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to marry this man. And I could envision being married to him, sharing a life with him, raising kids with him, serving God beside him. But the thought of kissing him? He was too much of a friend--it just seemed weird.
At that point in my life, I still had a lot of work on myself to do. I was just coming out of the relationship with the guy before him and dealing with some other drama in my life and I wanted to make sure i was whole and ready to stand on my own as a person before I entered another relationship.

Every day I prayed: "God? Dowlan?" and God would answer, "Wait." See, I've always thought that there were only three answers to prayer: Yes, No and Wait. And I waited. I grew and I healed and I waited. And every day for six months I heard "Wait."

I know I am really going on and if anyone is still reading, I'm glad. The main reason for my blog is to have all this recorded for my children to have someday and I am writing this for you AND for them. And I want them to have ever detail and feeling of this story.

In the interim, I ended up in the hospital for a few days. Dowlan came to visit me and was leaving just as my parents arrived. My parents had met him 4-5 times over the last three years. As dowlan left, my dad asked, "So, when are you going to start dating Dowlan?"

I just about stopped breathing at this point. I was worried about what my parents thought when I started dating someone ten years older than me. So I answered, "Dad! He's too old for me!" My dad's answer? "That doesn't matter. You have to start dating him, so you can marry him."

My mother was gasping and staring bug-eyed at my father at this point.

Three months later, I asked, "God? Dowlan?" and didn't get an answer. I got really antsy. A week later, Dowlan asked me out to go see The Tigger Movie. That story is hysterical and I need to stick it in here at some point.

But that is how we started: I decided that I wanted to have his children. A couple years later, I graduated from college and began teaching on the same day in August. That November, we became engaged. (Also a funny story. A gun was involved. And a train station. And a pair of pliers, sinus headache and a trip to the grocery store.)

We bought our house in December, I moved in in January, Dowlan moved his stuff in when we got married in March, Dowlan married my brother 20 days later, I got pregnant in April. Melody was born the next January. My maternity leave of six weeks ended the day before our first anniversary. Two-and-a-half years later, Charlie was born. Five months later, Dixie came home with us. It has been a wild ride.

In two months we will celebrate our 5th anniversary by getting away from the three children we've managed to collect in those five years and having a nice weekend where we will either talk about the kids or stare at each other, trying to remember something other than the kids that we could talk about. Property taxes and getting the car fixed don't count.

Anonymous Kelcy said...

Two things: do you want your mother's house badly enough to live in Abilene?

There is always a catch, isn't there? Not to mention getting her house means either waiting until she's dead, offing her myself, or until she is feeble enough to send to the crooked retirement center I heard about on 60 Minutes.

And when you answer Cindy's comment, you have to include the part about me wanting Dowlan to father my children.



Ask me anything!

We're having Jammie Day. I'm allergy-plagued and groggy, Melody's tummy isn't right yet an Charlie didn't sleep much yesterday. So we're bumming around the house today.

So I'm declaring today Ask Me Anything day. Post a comment with your question, and I will answer it. Obviously, I'm not paypalling you any funds or giving you my cell phone number, but I will pretty much leave it open....

What social ills would you like me to address? What have you always wanted to know about me?
Ask away . . .

My auntie and I have been curious a bit more about the background of how Dixie came to be a part of your family... If that's not being too nosey!!

January 9, 2008 11:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to know too...Thanks, J

January 9, 2008 11:36 AM

I have been good friends with her birthmother's brother since middle school and her birth grandmother and my mother are good friends. At about 15 months old, she ended up living with her Gma, who has some significant health problems and is not up for the task of raising her to adulthood. So we offered to be a back-up if the original family they had in mind did not work out.

So, two years later, her Uncle asked if we were still interested. I said, 'Yes, absolutely!' then remembered to check with my husband. Dowlan was just as excited as I was. We discussed things with her Gma for a few hours, then left to visit my in-laws in Oklahoma the next day. On the way home, we went back through my hometown to pick her up and bring her home.


Blogger Nicole said...

What is your dream style house? Is it tucked away on acres of land or in a community, or in the midst of suburbia?

Are all the bedrooms on the same floor?

I want my mom's house. It is an American Foursquare type of architecture--two stories with four rooms on each floor (give or take a bit) and a huge front porch with columns. The attic has dormer windows. It was built in 1910 and is beautiful. The hardwoods are so soft that you just want to rub your bare feet all over them. Mom has worked so hard over the 27 years they've been there to restore it. The yard is huge and beautiful. Upstairs are three bedrooms, a trunk room, bathroom, hallway and a living area. downstairs is an entryway with a grand staircase, kitchen, dining, breakfast area, guest room and the music room--where my mom teaches. i guess it would have originally been a parlor.

Everything is just so pretty in it--the knewel post on the staircase, the molding and trim. The walls are solid oak planks--none of this dry wall junk.

I'm in suburbia right now and not a huge fan and I know I am definitely not fit for rural life. I like people, buildings and stores within walking distance.


From her perspective, it made perfect sense.

A true story for you all:

So the girls asked recently if Simon (our cat) was going to get tall like daddy and i made the mistake of responding, "No, Simon's a grown-up kitty. He's as big as he's getting."

A few days later, I hear the front door open while I'm making dinner and assume it is Dowlan coming home. After 2 minutes pass and no husband walks in, I go to investigate. It was Dixie opening the door. She'd gone outside.

Mommy: Dixie! Why are you outside by yourself?
Dixie: Oh, I just came outside to sing to Simon.
M: You can't be here by yourself!
D: But I'm not. I'm with Simon.
M: Simon is a cat. He cannot give you permission to come outside or protect you and keep you safe.
D: But he is a grown-up kitty. You said so.


All I Gotsta Say Tonight Is . . .

So tonight, the girls were watching the halftime show with me, saying Geaux Tigers! and then arguing if they should be saying Hook 'Em Horns! I laughed and told them that anything was fine, as long as they didn't say Go Buckeyes!

They laughed, and tried to repeat what I said:

No Fat Guys?
Go Bad Guys?
Go Bat Eyes?
No Back Lies?

No. Buckeyes. Buck. Eyes.

Butt Guys? Ew! (hysterical giggling).

So they loved watching the marching bands, and were willing to even pause The Very Hungry Caterpillar card game long enough to watch.

Charlie's got to learn to be more discriminate, though. he saw the Ohio State marching band and immediately started clapping and smiling. I figure that as long as he was just smiling at the tubas, that was okay. His Papa might disagree, but you have to remember that Charlie, well, Charlie still poops his pants--he clearly is not ready to be picking a college.

So the commercials come on and we return for the thrilling conclusion to our game. About ten minutes later, Dixie is trying to turn off the TV.

Mommy: NO! Don't turn it off! I want to finish watching the Tigers.
Dixie: I don't see any tigers.
Mommy: Those guys running around? They're Tigers.
Dixie: No, they aren't. They are guys. The tigers were making shapes and playing instruments. Those are just guys with hats and funny clothes.

Dixie has an excuse, though. She hasn't been around as long. Both Charlie and Melody spent many an evening as a small babe in Papa's arms, looking at Tigers on the internet. He even taught them to do their fingers in the
Hook 'Em Horns! and then telling them it meant Geaux Tigers! Melody would find any attempts at correcting her deeply upsetting.


I could have had a different life, you know

I was two semesters away from graduating with a completely different degree and embarking on a completely different path, you know. I was this close to graduating, leaving for law school, wishing Dowlan well in life, and heading off.

But I decided that this guy was the one, and this life was the one.

If I had gone that way, I would have never know the joys that come with parenting these three fabulous children.

I would have never experienced the joys of waiting in line to drop your girls off at the IKEA playground, only to be paged ten minutes later and experience the special look workers there reserve for mothers who try to pass off un-potty-trained children as they tell me Melody pooped in her panties. I would have never found myself trying to explain, in all truth, that she hasn't pooped in her panties in sixteen months at the very least and that she must be sick and then receive the even more special look reserved for women who pack up their sick children and foist them on other people, claiming that they were perfectly healthy when they got there. No, really.

I would have never experienced the joys of wading through the IKEA jungle backwards with a screaming infant, almost-four year old with diarrhea and a stroller while frantically searching for her friend so that the third child can be collected and we can leave.

Of course, without little girls who would do gymnastics on the couch without cushions on it, only to ultimately leap completely through the fabric of the base of the couch and spring the springs (with the permission of Daddy, of course), paint with food coloring on said couches and smear yogurt all over them repeatedly, I would have never been in IKEA in the first place.

I would have never experienced the joys of laying on the couch the next afternoon, snuggled up with a sweet, warm girl and then experience the sweet, warm sensation of her throwing up in your lap. Further damage to the couch goes without saying.

I would not live in such a personalized home, either. My primary decorating theme would not be provisions by the fine furniture company run by those decorating geniuses Fisher and Price. I would not have the customized lettering of D, I, X, I and E on my pictures, floor, spacebar, monitor, door, art, books and on the wall of my mother's painstakingly restored 97 year old house.

I would not be so loved and needed that I can never go anywhere alone without dramatic cries of protest and would not appreciate the joy of peeing or bathing alone, as only someone who never actually experiences the solitude of such events can appreciate them.

I would not have ever experienced feeling quite ill myself, laying down to a nap and risking utter mayhem by leaving the kids with their father for two hours and being awakened by two young girls demanding an answer to the vitally important question, "Does baby Charlie have a beard?"


Dixie Says:

Did you noticed? Plum jelly is the same color as blood!


Dixie: If you spank us with a spatula, it will hurt more than your hand!
Melody: Let me show you which spatula to use!

It will never end

I have been cleaning. Cleaning. Cleaning.

We got home Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. and I spent the next 4 hours unpacking and sorting through all the stuff Dowlan brought in from PennyVann. I had done a little *ahem* bargain shopping after Christmas. Frankly, I think the giddiness of shopping while other people watched my children got to my head and I lost all control. Between that and all the Christmas gifts, PennyVann was very full.

Wednesday, I woke up and continued to unpack and sort through junk. I was almost finished when I sat down to sort through a stack of clothes, as I am the only person on this entire planet who knows what item belongs to what kid. As I am sorting, I am suddenly hit in the small of the back by a flying 28-lb girl. I spend the next six hours lying down in misery. Then I get up and start putting away all the Christmas dishes.

On Thursday, I reorganize toys to make room for all the Cool New Stuff. The CNS is taking over the world. I keep staring at my Christmas stuff, daring it to magically fly into boxes on its own. It does not take me up on this offer. I also go get a haircut that evening. I am contemplating having that woman arrested for stealing all my hair. Charlie has only slightly more hair than I do at this point.

And yesterday, after playgroup, I come home and attack the home again. Mind you, this house was clean when we left town, we were gone for eleven days, and the cats didn't mess up a thing in our absence. I take down the Christmas tree, the nativity, the Santa Clauses, the reindeer. I vacuum up all the random fluff from the tree skirt and the bits of dead garland. I move furniture back into place. I clean under where the furniture used to be. I clean the kitchen.

I clean for six hours straight yesterday. I stop twice to sit at the computer--once to deal with a bill I'd made a mistake on and once to play. I make supper, I get it all sat out, we eat. I go back to cleaning. It is bedtime.

Melody looks at me and says: Mommy! You forgot to play with us today because you were busy working SO HARD at the computer!


I'm It

I got tagged for a meme, so here's my characteristics and how I add up:

Loyal and generous.
Yeah, I pretty much have your back. And I love to buy free stuff and give it away. Today I passed on 4 packs of wipes, 8 packs of children's medications, 4 strings of Christmas lights and I am just now realizing that the entire box of size 2T girls' clothes is still sitting in PennyVan. I love to help people out. Just think of what I could do if I actually had any money.

Oh, yeah. That's me, baby. Quit laughing, I mean it!


Active in games and interactions.
Yes. And if I am playing a game with someone, I will take them down.

Impatient and hasty.
Ha! You have no idea.

I like to take on huge projects. Like sewing all the stuff for my wedding and having charge of a $10K fundraising project for Camp of the Hills at the same time.

Influential in organizations.
I have the tendency to end up in charge. That is my mother's fault.

Fun to be with.
This talking about myself stuff is getting weird.

Loves to socialize.

Loves praises.

Loves attention.
Yes, so stop skimming through this and READ what I have to say.

Loves to be loved.
It drives me nuts if someone doesn't like me. Good thing that never happens, right?

Honest and trustworthy.
A regular boy scout.

Not pretending.
I'm not so good at living a superficial life and not a fan of people who do.

Short tempered.
Hee hee hee.

Changing personality.

Not egotistic.
It ain't braggin if it is true, right?

Take high pride in oneself.
Hey, I'm so vain I think this blog isabout me.

Hates restrictions.

Loves to joke.

Good sense of humor.

Dowlan wouldn't agree, but my logic makes perfect sense to me.


My Bad

Dixie: Mommy, when you kiss your husband and I didn't say it was okay, it makes me so sad in my heart to watch.


Happy Sister Day

One year ago today
came to live with us. Amazing how quickly that went. Here the girls are on their first day as sisters:

So we had a Sister Day party today. The girls helped me make Photobucket Photobucket
and we had a little party
and there was gifting of dinnerware, placemats and bling
and Charlie was content with his John Deere plate as long as the cupcakes kept a'comin'.

P.S. My mom just had the following conversation with Melody:

Oma: Is this something sticky on your shirt?
Melody: Nah, it's just a booger.
O: A booger? Here, let's get it off, then.
M: No! I'm trying to dry it out.